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Q: Is the city of Cedar Falls sanitary sewer system being investigated by the federal EPA like Waterloo? How much are they spending on their system for upgrades?

A: Cedar Falls Community Development Director Stephanie Houk Sheetz said, “The Cedar Falls wastewater treatment facility and collection system is monitored and inspected on a regular basis by the EPA and the Iowa DNR. In 2014 the EPA conducted an extensive review of the city’s records, operations and practices regarding the entire wastewater system. Following the review the city was not required or mandated to make any additional improvements to the system. The city has invested more than $40 million in operations, maintenance and upgrades to the treatment plant and collection system since 2000. The city’s five-year plans call for over $50 million to potentially be invested in improvements to continue meeting EPA requirements.”

Q: Is the company working on city garage by The Courier parking ramp ever going to get it finished?

A: Work on the city of Waterloo’s East Fifth Street parking ramp wrapped up Nov. 30 and the ramp opened Dec. 4.

Q: Who is older, Aunt Jemina or Mrs. Butterworth? And the same for Little Debbie or the Sun Maid.

A: Aunt Jemima is older — the company started in 1889, while Mrs. Butterworth goes back only to 1961. The Sun Maid company started in 1912, while the bakery that would become Little Debbie dates to the Depression years, and the character of Little Debbie was first used in 1960.

Q: Is it true the Cedar Falls School District is getting rid of A, B, C, D letter grades and the pluses and minuses on those grades and replacing them with 1, 2, 3, 4? What is the rationale behind this?

A: It is not true the district is getting rid of letter grades, said spokeswoman Janelle Darst. The district is moving to learning-based grading at the secondary level. Students will still receive grades and a GPA: The elementary level has had learning-based grading for seven years. Darst said learning-based grading refers to the use of learning standards to guide what gets taught and assessed. It allows for improved communication and additional feedback for parents, students and teachers. Learning-based grading practices are designed to enhance student achievement and increase students’ understanding of the specific skills, strategies, knowledge and processes needed to succeed.

Q: Does the Janesville School Superintendent live inside the Janesville School District, and do his children attend the Janesville Schools? If not, isn’t it a conflict for him to try to ask those who do to increase their taxes to pay for improvements to the school if he doesn’t live there?

A: Superintendent B.J. Meaney said his family purchased a lot and built a home in Janesville in 2014. “We have three children that have attended Janesville for the past four school years,” he said. “They are in grades five, three and two.”

Questions are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.

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